Many of you have met Jay Bean, either at a GoRuck, race, or under a log at CMC – he wanted to share his perspective on the differences between to the two types of events –
My name is Jameson Miller… I started my love for races and challenges in 2012. Since then I’ve participated in numerous OCRs and GoRuck challenges. While there are obvious similarities between the groups of people that prefer one over the other, I wanted to shed some light on why I believe people like myself prefer GoRuck type events over OCRs. Before anyone continues to read I want to make sure everyone knows this is my OPINION and INTERPRETATION as to why some people including myself prefer one over the other. So no getting offended or upset about what is written!
While both OCR and GoRuck groups both have close knit communities GoRuck is different in many ways. People who have participated in rucks have suffered together and have been forced to come together as a team to accomplish one goal. With the emphasis always being on the team and the person next to you there is no time to worry about your own personal performance. In comparison OCRs are ultimately about the individual and his or her performance. Yes I understand that teams exist but races are rarely run completely as a team, carrying, and motivating one another and overcoming physical and mental obstacles together (yes I know about HH and its still much different from GoRuck – keep reading).
The other aspect of GoRuck that is very personal and emotionally binding to the vast majority of participants is what the organization stands for as well as supports. The Green Beret Foundation mission is as follows:
“The Green Beret Foundation is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization that provides unconventional resources to facilitate the special needs of our wounded, ill and injured Green Berets and Green Beret Gold Star families. The GBF imparts unique support to the Special Forces Community in order to strengthen readiness and uphold Green Beret traditions and values.”
Many people who are active in the GoRuck community are prior service, have family that serve in the military or are simply passionate patriots. You can understand why an organization with such close ties to supporting the military brings out the best in people. Combine that with 12+ hours of physical, mental and emotional suffering as well as growth and you have one motivated group of people that are diehard about what they do.
Most importantly are Special Operations Cadre that own the company and facilitate each challenge personally. These individuals are the best of the best, the most highly trained operators the US armed forces have to offer, and they are there for you to get to know. During the challenge you not only learn first hand about the training they received but also get to hear stories you would never hear anywhere else. Stories about fallen comrades, sacrifice, and of course about why they love what they do and why they love the USA.
I could go on and on about why I love GoRuck and the GBF, but I’m sure you all understand that by now. What it comes down to is the bonds you form during the event, what you learn about yourself, and of course the importance of the GBF. There is an emotional attachment that I can’t explain on top of that, you just have to experience it for yourself.
OCR racer or GoRuck nut… They are all a different breed with a certain something different in them you just don’t see everyday. I hope to see you all out on the course or with your face in the mud and a ruck on your back.